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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Hint Tip: Costume Institute

Here are three reasons to revisit the Model as Muse exhibit at the Costume Institute: Carmen Dell'Orefice, Dorothy McGowan and Isaac Mizrahi. They star in three fashiony films to be screened at the Met, respectively: Funny Face (July 10), Qui êtes-vous, Polly Maggoo? (July 17) and Unzipped (July 22). Each of them will be introduced by Harold Koda and guest co-curator Kohle Yohannan. Click for ticket info. (BTW, we read recently that Carmen was discovered while riding a bus to ballet class at the age of 13. Amazing!)

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Thursday, June 4, 2009

Headline Trip

  • Racy, lacy ads with Lydia Hearst pulled from bus stops in Chicago, Seattle and Dallas. [Observer]
  • Kate Moss threatens plus-size legal action against Now magazine for speculating she's pregnant. [Guardian UK]
  • Kitsuné offers you and your illustrated face a chance to appear on their record releases for a year. [Kitsuné]
  • Isaac Mizrahi mocked by mockingbird. [Isaac Mizrahi Vlog]
  • Kaiserin, the self-described magazine for boys with problems, launches its 6th issue on June 5 at Palais de Tokyo.
  • (Added 6/5) After only three collections, Emanuel Ungaro and Esteban Cortazar are said to be parting ways. [WWD]

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    Wednesday, April 1, 2009

    Hint Tip: The Fashion Show

    Leading up to the May 7th premiere of Bravo's new fashion reality show—called, um, The Fashion Show—Isaac Mizrahi went on camera to ponder his personal style. In short: he's a slob, he wears almost nothing in a regular day, he wants to be buried in croc shoes. (Sorry for the super-loud, super-annoying ad.) ...

    By the way, could this be the freakiest fashion cast ever? ...

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    Wednesday, August 6, 2008

    No Vacancy

    Douglas Keeves, who famously Unzipped Isaac Mizrahi thirteen years ago, is still as smarty-pants as ever. The exhibitionist opened up to Lee Carter about his latest documentary, Hotel Gramercy Park, in which he exposes the drama surrounding New York's notoriously bohemian, family-owned luxury lodge recently snapped up by Ian Schrager...

    Hotel Gramercy Park is a little like watching The Shining. What madness did you see while making it, and how possessed did you become?
    The last days of the old hotel were eerie and sad. I wasn't chased by anyone with a hatchet—that came later—but neighbors practically came after Ian with pitchforks, axes and torches.

    During your introduction of the film at the Tribeca Film Festival, you said you felt squeamish when you screened the finished product to Ian, who features prominently. But I don't remember any scenes where he comes across badly. What was it you were afraid of?
    Ian is one obsessive and meticulous guy. And he is very mindful of how he is portrayed. I worried about his portrayal and how he would like the film itself. He had never let anyone near him in this way and he completely trusted us. I wanted it to be honest. After following his process for a year, I had become quite fond of him and very much in awe of his passion and dedication. He loves design. He could have cut corners and saved a truckload of money. Instead, he tweaked and re-tweaked every square inch. I'd say, "Ian, that's nuts. Nobody's going to notice." And without so much as a smile, he'd shoot back: "I would. I'd notice."

    Serendipitously, I met Max Weissberg [grandson of former owner Herbert Weissberg] the day after I saw the film. He told me that some truly scandalous stuff was left out. Can you reveal anything now that didn't make the cut? No need to name names—unless you want to, of course.
    We didn't leave anything scandalous out except for the sex, drugs and murder. The film was initially more hard-hitting, but it felt too dark and heavy.

    Obviously, in your documentaries, the goal is to capture people as they really are. Have you ever had to tell someone not to act for the camera?
    Everyone's different when you show up with a camera and crew. The best thing is to spend a lot of time with people. Eventually you become part of the furniture and people go back to their lives and and back to being themselves. That's one reason that docs take so much time. There's a seriously heavy acclamation period. It's once you break through that things start to get interesting.

    Your other documentaries include Unzipped and Seamless. Why the move away from fashion?
    For me, the fashion world was like Alice Through the Looking Glass—a weird, silly, mysterious place. Above all, beautiful. Most films on fashion only scratch the surface. I'll always feel I am an outsider and certainly never cool enough, but I do get it. In a good film, you try to look beyond the obvious. Unzipped was about the creative process, and Seamless about the heartbreaking, nail-biting business of fashion. Gramercy is about a changing world and who gets left behind. Fundamentally, they're all character-driven stories. I work just as easily outside of fashion as I do in it.

    Did you know at the time you were making Unzipped what a moment that Isaac Mizrahi show would be?
    It was crazy. Nobody wanted the crane or the camera on the runway. It just wasn't done, but I kept asking and begging. During the show we shoved a Super 8 camera into Shalom's hand, to take it up a notch. It definitely was a moment. Linda, Kate, Cindy, Nikki, Naomi and even Carla Bruni and Padma Lakshmi all whipped up a perfect storm.

    It's been thirteen years since Unzipped. These days Isaac is having a welcome comeback. Have you kept in touch with him?
    I just worked with Isaac the other day for the first time in many, many years. And in all honesty, he is so fucking good—a documentarian's wet dream.

    Do you miss the supermodel era? Without the benefit of hindsight, what era do you think we're in now?
    It's difficult not to be nostalgic. Whenever you look back, things were seemingly simpler. Our culture has exploded exponentially and everybody is getting their fifteen minutes. Categories that delineate people, trends and events are irreversibly blurred. It's exciting and daunting. It can be trashy, but what of it? Personally, I love Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan. We all need to loosen up and stop pointing fingers.

    Out of all the people in your films, including yourself, who's been the biggest diva?
    Take your pick. They are all divas, but not all the time. It can make things incredibly difficult. But this is fashion, what else would you expect and what else would you want? As far as I'm concerned, Naomi for president.

    What's next for you?
    I'm working on a TV series with a network and I'm happy to say it's way not a piece of crap. Stay tuned.

    Here's the trailer, exclusively for Hint...

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